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Prominent Poles

Bohdan Paczynski, Polish-American astronomer, educator, Bruce Gold Medal winner

Photo of Bohdan Paczynski,astronomer

Born:  February 8, 1940, Wilno, occupied by the Soviet Union part of Poland (presently Vilnius, Lithuania)

Died:  April 19, 2007, Princeton,New Jersey, USA

Advanced studies.Bohdan Paczynski was educated at Warsaw University, where he earned his Ph.D. in astronomy in 1967.
Early work; employment in the USA. Since 1962 he worked at the Institute of Astronomy, renamed in 1975 the Nicolas Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in Warsaw until 1982, when he moved to Princeton University, where he is now the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Professor of Astrophysics.
Stellar evolution. After observational studies of polarization and absorption in the Galaxy and of variable stars, he turned to theoretical work in stellar evolution and accretion disks around compact stars and in close binary systems. He wrote a widely-used stellar evolution code. During the 1960's he wrote a set of programs which compute the structure and lifetime of a star. This code became shareware, and the astronomical community has modified, improved, and used it for research and limited teaching applications ever since.
OGLE, All-Sky Automated Survey. He is known for theoretical work on gamma ray bursters, where he was an early proponent of the now-confirmed view that they are at cosmological distances. He proposed the use of gravitational microlensing as a technique for detecting compact objects in the galactic halo, and he has been a leader of two major Polish-American sky surveys: the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) and the All-Sky Automated Survey, which is photometricly monitoring ten million stars.
Bruce Gold Medal.In 2002 the Astronomical Society of the Pacific awarded Professor Paczynski its prestigious Bruce Gold Medal. This medal is awarded almost every year since 1898 and Professor Paczynski was the 95th recipient. It�s worth mentioning that among recipients are such other famous astronomers like Edwin Hubble (1938), Subramanyan Chandrasekhar (1952) and Rudolph Minkowski (1961).
Membership in professional societies. Bohdan Paczynski was a member of: Polish Astronomical Society, International Astronomical Union, American Astronomical Society, Associate member of Royal Astronomical Society, Polish Physical Society, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher LEOPOLDINA, Polish Academy of Sciences, Foreign Associate, US National Academy of Sciences.

Based on the webpage
Bruce Medalists
prepared by Professor Joseph S. Tenn from Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA

Other sources:
Sonoma index

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Prominent Poles